“Introduction to Clinical Practice,” or the “Preceptorship” is an innovative course added to the curriculum in 1992. It was spawned from comments of many students who desired earlier clinical exposure in order to balance and enhance the basic science curriculum. The course has been very successful by exposing students to strong physician role models demonstrating the relevance of basic science to the clinical practice of medicine, and providing a glimpse of the contemporary practice of medicine in a community setting.
The foremost educational goal of the College of Medicine is to provide each student with a general professional education. This course plays an important part in helping students reach this goal by providing an in-depth, immersion experience in primary care. During this course, students will participate in didactic and small group activities to expand their knowledge and clinical skills. During the preceptorship, they will have numerous opportunities to practice history-taking skills, participate as part of a health care team, and learn about the clinical conditions commonly encountered in primary care.
It is firmly believed that by exposing students to strong physician role models early in their education, they will be better focused and more highly motivated to become caring, competent physicians in whatever area of medicine they choose. There are basic standards of caring and responsibility that all physicians should possess. What better way to introduce these basics than by placing students with community physicians who demonstrate these standards in the daily practice of medicine?